Have you ever wondered, why is birth photography so expensive? I’m sure you have and I wanted to provide some insight in regards to what goes into being a birth photographer. Keep in mind this might be a long post as I am very passionate about this topic.
Birth Photography is gaining some much needed attention in the recent years. Yas!
I’ve got to the point where I compare it to Wedding Photography. It’s a new milestone in your life, in your family, why not have it documented? Didn’t we all have pictures when we graduated, when we finished college, even when we went on cruises/vacation, etc. Just like you would have a wedding photographer, the birth of a child should be the same or more important. One of the biggest reasons why I became a birth photographer was based on my own experience birthing my children. Knowing that the details I remember are very vague makes my heart hurt.
As a birthing person we are mostly focused on laboring, bringing a child into the world, the moment can become blurry, even a few hours after birth, let’s imagine years and years from now. It does get blurry, sadly and sometimes images are all we have from that special moment. And let’s be honest, this moment is invaluable in our lives as parents!
Now, although I do compare birth photography to wedding photography, there are a few HUGE factors that make us very different:
We do not know the exact place of birth. Usually births are planned, but let’s be honest, you just never know where your baby will be born.
We do not know the exact day of the birth. Due Date’s are an estimate, you can most likely go before your due date or after your due date. One of the reasons we are on-call starting at 37 or 38 weeks.
We do not know how many hours we will be at a birth (wedding photographers usually know to the T how many hours they will be at a wedding). I’ve been at births as long as 23 hours.
We do not know the lighting situation until we get to the hospital/home/birthing center. No gorgeous sunset images for births (unless it’s a unicorn birth haha). Meaning that we need to work with what we have and sometimes use flash to have quality images.
We have to be on call for at least 4 weeks, yup! On call! Meaning we can’t travel too far from the place of birth, we can’t drink and have too much fun, we need to wake up and go to work at 2:00am if we need to.
We get called into births in the middle of the night. Like mentioned above 2:00am… and in all honesty a huge percent of births happen in the middle of the night haha.
We sometimes need to miss important events in our lives (or our children’s lives). Yup, this includes birthdays, Christmas, New Year, graduations, etc.
At times we need to break plans with our children because “I need to go to a birth” and watching them cry is not easy
Trust me! Being a Birth Worker/Birth Photographer is not an easy task and those of us that do it, do it because we are compromised with birth and we LOVE what we do.
So yes, it can be expensive but it is mostly because our lives have to be placed on pause in order to provide not only quality images but also unique and priceless images of your little one being welcomed in to this home. And let’s not forget, that we are people worthy of our art, talent and time, and that we also deserve a livable wage to support our families. One thing I always like to tell prospective clients is that there is always the option to use payment plans and/or gift cards <3.
Thanks so much for reading and hope this gives you all a bit of information on what being a Birth Photographer means.
Shirley Anne <3
**A little detail in regards to pricing of Wedding Photography in Massachusetts, is it can go from $1000 to $8000 (and more). Birth Photography is still in the baby stages where we go from $1000 to maybe $3000, AND WE ARE ON-CALL! **
“Shooting a birth is like getting an inquiry from a bride saying that she wants you to come photograph her wedding, but isn't going to set a date. She'll just call you whenever. and when you ask her how many hours of coverage she would like, she says she's not sure, probably around 24, but maybe only 2. And you ask her when she'd like for you to start coverage and she says she wont know, but probably around 2am. And also, that she doesn't want any use of flash.
So when you ask her if there will be bountiful natural light she says that she'll be getting married in a dark closet with no light whatsoever. And, she's going to want the images right away to send out announcements. AND you're not going to be able to use them anywhere on your website or blog because she wants to keep her privacy intact. We'd all be quoting this bride 50,000.00.”
Lexia Frank of Lexia Frank Photography